I finally had some film developed that I shot awhile back when I was on holiday in Biarritz France. Biarritz was one of those kinds of holidays where I hardly had my phone on me and refused to carry my Canon 5D around, instead I opted for a simple disposable camera. I was way too preoccupied with baguettes and red wine to be chasing that perfect insta moment.
Our week in Biarritz followed pretty much the same daily routine. Wake up around 12pm, (Who was I!? I usually never sleep past 8am) eat a croissant, a pain au chocolat and some baguette, head down to the beach while the boys surfed and us girls caught the last of the summer rays while either gossiping or devouring our summer read, laze around the house or go for a motorbike ride along the rocky coast, head out for dinner, paint the town red and return home around 4am.
We were invited to Biarritz by two of our nearest and dearest friends, Kelly and Sylvain. Their holiday house is something out of a French 70’s seaside digs, surfboards and wetsuits scatter the front yard, there’s a silver airstream trailer our front and a Buda with a wreath of flowers around it’s neck. Enough beds to sleep 10 of us and there’s ALWAYS a baguette somewhere in the house, a fridge full of rosé and litres of Get 27 on the go.
One of the highlights of Biarritz is the food markets, I’ve never before seen quality like that. The freshest of fresh groceries from juicy tomatoes and delectable cuts of chateaubriand to bottles of aged red wine and freshly caught octopus. It’s any foodie’s paradise.
If there’s 3 words I would use to sum up our stay in Biarritz they would have to be:
SURF, FOOD & WINE.
So where exactly is Biarritz? Well it’s “an elegant seaside town on southwestern France’s Basque coast and has been a popular resort since European royalty began visiting in the 1800s. It’s also a major surfing destination, with long sandy beaches and surf schools.”
A popular symbol of Biarritz is the statue of the Virgin Mary on the rocky outcrop of Rocher de la Vierge which you can reach via a footbridge and has sweeping views of the Bay of Biscay.
As far as where to eat my mind draws a complete blank! Pretty much anything and everything is delicious in France and when staying with 10 frenchman you kind of just learn to fall in step and follow the pack because you bound to end up somewhere exceptional down some quite street where someone in your group knows the owner and food is simply ordered in a flurry of words and placed in front of you. Oh you don’t eat liver, oh well, everything’s in French and you only realise afterwards you just ate some but it’s ok because it’s delicious and the wine keeps pouring and the night becomes alive and you end up in some cheesy gay bar singing french karaoke, dancing till you can’t breath anymore and drinking pacharan to the early hours of the morning, you order a cab home or ambitiously attempt the 45min walk home and eventually fall into bed as the sun begins to rise and think to yourself damn, if only life was always this carefree.
Thanks for the sharing your spirit with us Biarritz.
All photos snapped on disposable camera by myself and Justin Polkey
I visited Paris for the first time three years ago as part of my twenty first birthday present. It was a week full of walking, gallery hoping and macaron eating. Of course I loved the city but with so much of the world to still see it wasn’t a place I expected to return to. However work called me back to Paris and it was this second time around that I truly fell in love with the city of love.
The first time I visited Paris I saw the city through the eyes of a tourist, the Lourve, the Eiffel Tower, Parisian gardens. However, this time around I saw it through the eyes of a fashionista and all the finer details came alive. Parisian parque flooring, high pressed ceilings, the gold rimmed cafe tables, marble staircases inside stores, giant carved doors, the smell of nuxe body oil and grungy rooftops that epitomise romance.
There’s a certain charm and ambiance that fills the air when walking down cobbled Parisian alley ways, a flair that I have yet to feel else where on my travels. It’s breathtaking architecture and magical sunsets that have me snapping away at rooftops and skylines.
Where to go, what to do and what to eat, p.s this is not your typical tourist guide:
This time around I stayed in the most magical apartment in Canal St.Martin, the apartment overlooked the canal below us and made for the best of people watching. When I arrived at the apartment with fresh peonies on the table I knew that the Parisians got me and thus my love affair started. I highly recommend Haven in Paris apartments when traveling to Paris for a luxury experience like never before.
First rule of being a Parisian, never eat breakfast. A simple coffee and pastry will suffice. My favourite french bakeries are Du Pain et des Idees ( 34 rue Yves Toudic) and Boulanger Patissier. (47 Blvd. St. Germain). Boulanger serve the best Pain au chocolat, I’ve yet to find better.
Where to shop? This is important, one can’t visit one of the most spectacular fashion cities of all time and not shop. I took the plunge and purchased my first designer handbag, a mini Chanel. I don’t regret it for a second. Like Caroline de Maigret say’s “A fake designer bag? Never! Like fake breasts, you can’t fix your insecurities through forgery.” Le Marais is full of hidden gems, make sure you pop into Colette while you there. (13, rue Saint Honoré) Otherwise for a one-stop shopping session try Le Bon Marché. (24 Rue de Sèvres) The staff are welcoming and super helpful. I suggest avoiding Champs-Élysées, it’s an overcrowded tourist trap.
I use food as a way to discover a city, learn it’s cultural and make new friends. I have one food rule: I never eat at a place more then once. Some of my favourite spots this time around included:
1.) Dinner at Siseng, Asian cuisine with a twist. I highly recommend the Boa burgers, the buns are made out of rice flour. (82 Quai de Jemmapes)
2.) Lunch at Bespoke for mini cheese burgers, tasty sweet potato fries and cocktails that could have been imported from a Manhattan bar. (3 Rue Oberkampf)
3.) For a dinner on a budget a must try is Le Petit Cambodge. They serve spectacular bobun topped with fired spring rolls that will leave you with eyes bigger then your stomach. (20 Rue Alibert)
4.) One can’t go wrong with a luncheon at a classic Parisian bistro. I met up with some friends at Cafe Bonne Biere for seafood pasta and delicious fish. (32 Rue du Faubourg du Temple)
5.) Last by not least L’éclair de génie for an array of the most beautiful looking and tasting eclairs you’ll ever try, because macarons are so last season. (32 Rue Notre Dame des Victoires)
What to do in Paris? Buy smelly cheese from your local fromage shop, go up the Arc de Triomphe instead of the Eiffel Tower, forget your map book/GPS, don’t count calories, rent a bike, make the The Palais Royal your playground, take a midnight stroll, always look up and fall in love.
Paris, je t’aime
*All images mine unless otherwise specified.